Mobilizing the Social Power of Iconic and Performative Texts for Justice and Reform


  • James W. Watts Syracuse University



social reform, justice, structural racism, Bible, environmentalism, anthems


In the ten years of its existence, SCRIPT has succeeded in promoting and publishing an increasing variety of scholarship on iconic and performative texts. Culturally specific studies have provided the basis for comparative theorizing about the phenomena. This body of scholarship has put us in a better position to analyze current events involving iconic books and performative texts. It can also enable us to make creative suggestions for strengthening movements for justice and social reform by ritualizing iconic and performative texts. Here, I provide three examples of how to employ SCRIPT research to strengthen contemporary movements for social and environmental justice: a short-term episodic intervention, a medium-term structural rectification, and a long-term cultural innovation.

Author Biography

James W. Watts, Syracuse University

James W. Watts is Professor of Religion at Syracuse University. He is the author of Understanding the Pentateuch as a Scripture (Wiley Blackwell, 2017) and the editor of Iconic Books and Texts (Equinox, 2013) and Sensing Sacred Texts (Equinox, 2018).


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How to Cite

Watts, J. W. . (2021). Mobilizing the Social Power of Iconic and Performative Texts for Justice and Reform. Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, 11(2), 127–143.




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